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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

5 Keys To Doing High Performance Work

We all feel great when we do well or accomplish significant things. As a human being, you are designed to be creative. For too long, we have categorized creativity into something synonymous with the arts. We look at a songwriter, painter or sculpture as someone who is creative. You as a human being create things every day. Sometimes we create fantastic interactions with people while other times, we create drama. Sometimes we create documents, sometimes spreadsheets. You are creative, no matter what you produce and when you are really good at what you do, you gain the respect of others, especially your peers.

Leadership begins with us. You demonstrate leadership by managing and leading yourself first and others second.

Leadership begins with us. You demonstrate leadership by managing and leading yourself first and others second. No matter what the situation is or what you are going through, you show leadership by managing yourself first, influencing yourself first, directing yourself first. The first key to doing high performance work is to realize you are a creator that has the power to produce the life and work you want. When you make the decision on where to focus your creativity, you must ask yourself what this will equate to? Is it more money or less money? Is it more vacation or less vacation? Is it adding to my credibility or taking away from it?

1. Practice Innovation & Imagination

Innovation is nothing more than making everything you come into contact with better than it was before. It allows you to be more of an artist. Use your imagination and make things around you more brilliant. Steve Martin said, “Be so good at what you do that you are indispensable.” What do you need to create in your career that makes you indispensable?

2. Put Some Wow In Everything You Do

When you go to work, operate at beyond the expected. Always be under promising and over delivering. Think of what you do in three different categories, the expected, the nice surprise and the wow. Ask yourself, how can I use this scenario to serve me? How can I offer greater value to get to the next level for my performance and me?

3. Be The Real You

The best performers in any industry are those that are real and authentically themselves. This does not mean you get to do extremes in the rudeness or impolite areas of behavior and then claim that is just how you are. No, you need to maintain some decorum and dignity if you want to gain some respect. This applies in how you behave, how you talk, how you dress and how you treat all others. Warren Buffett said “There will never be a better you than you.” Always remember, everything that happens is a gift. If something doesn’t go right or fails, ask yourself: what is the gift here for me that I can use and learn from to be a better me?

4. Exercise Courage

Courage is very important. Courage is what will drive you forward to try new things and increase your capabilities. No person is good at something the first few times they attempt it. We tend to look at masters of their field and see the amazing talent manifested into reality and we just assume they have always been that way. Not true. It takes commitment to generate courage to work to create and enhance new capabilities. Master high performers know the commitment they’ve made to be a master means they have to continually try new things in order to not become irrelevant or get left behind. If you can’t seem to generate the courage you need to journey into those areas, ask yourself: Do I have a strong enough commitment to be the best at what I do?

5. Be True To Your Ethics

It takes 15 years to become an overnight success but you can lose it all in 30 seconds of bad judgment. One moment of moral or ethical weakness can cost you everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve and attain. Ask yourself: If I were to read about me doing this on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow, would I still do it?

Action Steps

1. Writing in your journal is a real conversation with yourself. In your journal, write about playing at your best level. What are the 5 things that need to happen for you to have a remarkable day?

2. Spend some time learning every day. Harvard Business School’s research indicates it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. The American Society of Training and Development says the average employee spends about 30 hours a year working on their craft. No wonder there is so much mediocrity out there. It’s where you can create a big advantage!

3. Next 7 days, do one thing at your work you have been resisting, but when completed would get you to the next level of high performance work.

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